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ChatGPT: The Side Hustle for Writers and Creatives

The trending 2023 side hustle 💻

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When OpenAI’s chatbot dropped in late 2022, many wondered whether the fledgling AI would put creators out of work. But as it turns out, early AI isn’t so good at a few critical parts of the creative process. (You know, like telling fact from fiction or avoiding biases learned from its training material.)

Since then, many people have embraced ChatGPT for writers, bloggers, and other human creators. Ironically, introducing AI in creativity-driven fields has granted humans new ways to streamline their own workday.

Without further ado, here are 7 ways that ChatGPT can make your creative juices flow more productively.

Brainstorming and inspiration

ChatGPT’s inspirational potential might (not-so) secretly be its most potent power. Simply feed the AI a topic or question and it will spit out ideas or even whole paragraphs of content. From there, you can wade through each response to find inspiration or even rework the answer into your starting point.

While not every answer bleeds originality, they often make a great springboard to dive into your final product. However, providing specificity and parameters is key.

Asking ChatGPT a broad question – like “article ideas about owning a pet” – results in a range of broad, often-unrelated answers, like:

But with a little more direction, ChatGPT narrows its focus to keep you on-topic:

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Outlining and organizing ideas

Using AI in the creativity process isn’t limited to brainstorming – it can also provide a framework to organize your thoughts. You can do this for blog content, social media ads, or even that romance novel buried in the back of your brain.

To illustrate ChatGPT’s outline abilities, we asked it to outline a short-form steampunk thriller involving zombies, Elvis, and King Tutankhamen:

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Better yet, asking the same question multiple times produced a range of storylines and ideas – even more fodder for the brainstorm.

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Guiding your research

Using ChatGPT for writers’ research can be tricky. Remember: modern AI only generates what it “knows” from training materials. Since it’s incapable of independent thought, it can’t tell truth from lies, overcome biases, or weigh important nuances.

But that doesn’t mean it’s worthless – you can still use it to guide your approach. You can ask it for definitions (define “IRA”), dates (when was the Revolutionary War?), or even lists (what were the five cutest Beanie Babies ever?).

Though you can’t take its answers at face value, you can use them to point you in the right direction and generate new insights.

“Stress testing” ideas

Another way to use AI in creativity is by “stress testing” your own ideas and logic. Think of ChatGPT like a backboard you can bounce ideas against to:

  • Reveal your own biases or blind spots
  • Help you view topics in a new light
  • Provide feedback on your ideas

For instance, you might ask ChatGPT to list ideas, steps, or questions related to a topic, like so:

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Then, you can analyze the AI’s responses to ensure you’re not leaving avenues unexplored, or to find blanks in your knowledge or logic.

Rewriting and repurposing existing content

Make no mistake, ChatGPT can write content – if you don’t care about accurate or engaging content. Because AI in creativity only generates what it “knows,” it’s incapable of being original.

Still, you can use ChatGPT for writers’ tasks like restyling, repurposing, or rewriting existing content.

Perhaps you want to polish sloppy drivel into shiny new prose, update an old blog with a new take, or just rework a stubborn paragraph for a specific audience. ChatGPT can do all that – and more. Better yet, re-entering the same prompt generates new results, so you’re not stuck with the first answer you get.

The catch: for the best results, you’ll need existing content or research and guiding parameters. And if you need to pass a plagiarism or AI checker, you’ll probably have to rewrite the rewrite.

Below, you can see what happened when we asked ChatGPT to rewrite the following quotes from Abraham Lincoln in two styles: “To remain as I am is impossible; I must die or be better, it seems to me.”

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Double-checking (and improving) your writing

Even accomplished writers have room for improvement, and ChatGPT is all too happy (or neutral) to don the editor’s mantle.

The AI provides instant feedback about your grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, tone, and more. You can also ask it to generate example paragraphs so you can:

  • Find the right direction for a piece
  • Identify areas of improvement in your own writing
  • Learn from its strengths and weaknesses
  • Incorporate a more diverse vocabulary or sentence variety

For example, say you get a new – picky – client. You might write your first article, then ask ChatGPT to analyze your writing against the client’s specifications. You can also direct it to focus on specific concerns like tone or sentence structure. After receiving feedback, you can incorporate (or ignore) it before submitting your work.

Speeding up social media content generation

ChatGPT can struggle with accuracy or avoiding repetition in long-form content – but short-form content is right up its alley. That makes it ideal for social media-focused creatives who want to leverage AI in creativity and business.

For instance, you can ask ChatGPT to:

  • Outline or write social media posts
  • Create captivating headlines and headers
  • Design personalized email blasts
  • Generate hashtags on trending topics
  • Develop persuasive marketing copy

Say you’re documenting your trip to London, and you want to share your adventure on Instagram. You might ask ChatGPT to generate short posts celebrating your trip – complete with tonal guides – like so:

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As you can see, the AI answered with some potentially dazzling posts, complete with emojis.

Limitations of ChatGPT for writers and creatives

ChatGPT’s own creator OpenAI cautions against relying on ChatGPT as a professional resource. The organization admits that their pet AI can provide “incorrect or nonsensical answers” and can’t identify objective truths.

For those using AI in creativity, it’s doubly essential to fact-check every word against reliable resources. (Importantly, ChatGPT doesn’t cite its training sources.) And since the bot doesn’t update regularly, it can’t provide current information or statistics.

Users have also reported that ChatGPT struggles with writing accurate, engaging, and non-repetitive long-form content. Without proper limitations, the AI may spit out random or generalized answers or talk itself in circles.

And lastly, ChatGPT poses interesting problems when it comes to intellectual property like copyrights. Currently, the U.S. Copyright Office only registers original works “created by a human being.”

In other words, AI-generated content isn’t protected by copyright law. So, if you distill an AI’s answers into a moneymaker without rewriting it first, there’s nothing stopping someone else from stealing your content and doing the same to you.  

ChatGPT isn’t the only badass bot around

ChatGPT for writers provides a powerful companion to improve your productivity (read: take shortcuts) without sacrificing quality. (As long as you take steps to keep the “you” in “unique content.”)

But for regular people hoping to improve their finances, ChatGPT is more like a brick. It’s good at building a solid framework – not so much for building a working-yet-flexible budget.

Plus, it won’t roast your spending half as well as Cleo, no matter how much poetry it reads.  

When you’re ready to elevate your finance game, Cleo’s AI will be waiting to take you to the next level.

Enjoy this post? Give it a share or send it along to a friend. You never know, it could make a big difference.  
Big love. Cleo

*Cleo Plus is our subscription service, which offers eligible users cashback on your money, information on your credit score, and access to cash advances (”Cash Advance”). Advance amounts will vary based on eligibility. If you don’t want to subscribe, you can also apply for cash advance by contacting our customer service at team@meetcleo.com. To learn more about eligibility, repayment, and overall terms, please visit: meetcleo.com/terms.

Car crying out for gas? We’ll just mention that Cleo can potentially spot you up to $250*. No credit checks. No interest. No stress.

Still have questions? Find answers below.
How can I use ChatGPT for brainstorming and generating ideas for my writing projects?
What limitations does ChatGPT have, and how can they impact my writing process?
Can ChatGPT assist me with editing and improving my writing?
How can ChatGPT help with social media content generation?
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